High Achiever: What it Means And 10 Characteristics of One

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High Achiever: What it Means And 10 Characteristics of One

High achievers usually stand out in life. They become successful at what they do, and people tend to admire these individuals. They seem to have a very clear understanding of what needs to be done, together with the necessary drive and self-discipline to see it through to completion. This is in contrast to the majority of individuals, who have difficulty determining which path they should follow and lack the drive to see it through.

Do you want to be successful and outstanding in what you do? Do you want to become a high achiever? You can follow and practice the listed characteristics of high achievers.

What Does Being a High Achiever Mean?

Being a high achiever means you are an individual who consistently goes above and beyond to accomplish meaningful things and make a difference in your own life and the lives of others. What drives such individuals is the need to achieve something. Also, they are usually motivated by the prospect of accomplishing something important. 

What Are the Characteristics of a High Achiever?

The common characteristics of high achievers are as follows:

#1. They are Disciplined

Discipline is one of the most important and common characteristics of high achievers. High achievers are generally self-disciplined and maintain a healthy balance between their lives at work and home. They accomplish this by organising their daily schedules and avoiding wasting time on activities that do not contribute to their success.

#2. High Achievers are Action-oriented

High achievers are action-oriented. Being action-oriented means that they don’t overanalyze situations before taking action. They are not afraid to make mistakes and/or learn from them. They prioritise progress over perfection and are constantly working to achieve their goals.

#3. High Achievers Don’t Focus on Problems

A high achiever typically doesn’t waste time concentrating on issues but rather looks for solutions. They look at challenges as opportunities to learn and develop, and derive ideas from them. Also, they work hard to solve difficulties and make progress toward the objectives they have set for themselves.

#4. They Take Responsibility for Their Success

High achievers take the responsibility of making sure that the team, succeeds; they accept complete ownership of their achievements and the team. They have a self-perception of being leaders, so they are more prepared to put in extra effort to ensure success. They accept accountability for their actions and try to accomplish things on their own initiative.

#5. High Achievers Feel Empowered to Create Their Outcomes

Those who achieve a lot feel like they have a lot of control over their lives. They accept full responsibility for their objectives and put forth much effort to achieve them. They have a crystal clear idea of what they want and are willing to do whatever it takes to acquire it. They don’t sit around and wait for opportunities; they create their own.

#6. They Tap Into Their Motivation

Those who successfully reach their goals are in tune with their internal motivations. They can persevere in adversity because they are clear about their desire to achieve their objectives. They know how crucial consistency and determination are to achieving their goals. They maintain their forward momentum because they are driven to do so.

#7. High Achievers Do Not Procrastinate

High achievers resist the urge to procrastinate and instead focus on getting things done. They know the first step in accomplishing anything worthwhile is simply getting started. They begin with tiny actions to build up their energy and break down large goals into smaller, more doable ones. They only hold off on taking action once everything is perfect or when they have a clear idea of what to accomplish.

#8. High Achievers are Lifelong learners

High achievers have a growth mindset and continuously seek opportunities to learn and improve. They invest in personal and professional development, striving to be their best selves. Also, they are always seeking ways to improve and grow. If they are unsatisfied with the status quo, they will constantly challenge themselves to reach new heights. They embrace change and adapt to new circumstances.

#9. A High Achiever Is Results-Oriented and Value-Driven

A high achiever is usually intent on getting things done, he sees what he wants his life to be like and devises strategies, plans, and actions to get it there. They are fearless in tackling challenging initiatives and seeing them through. Also, high achievers always want to improve their situation and add value to their work. Hence, they place assisting others at the forefront of their priorities and believe that success will find its way to them if they contribute to the greater good.

#10. They are Resilient.

High achievers are resilient and can pick themselves up and try again after experiencing a setback or failing at something. When they face drawbacks, they can grow despite their failures and not give up on their objectives, no matter how challenging things become.

What Is the Difference Between Gifted and High Achiever?

While a gifted person and a high achiever are somewhat similar, there are several differences, and understanding the differences between these two workers can help educators and employers provide appropriate support and opportunities for these individuals to thrive and reach their full potential. The differences between gifted and high-achiever workers are as follows:

  • Motivation and Performance: High achievers are willing to put in the time and effort necessary to be successful and often enjoy school. While gifted workers may not necessarily enjoy school, but they typically love learning and may work hard if interested and engaged. Also, high achievers are motivated by grades and work hard to get top grades, while gifted workers may question the purpose of the assignment and may not be motivated by grades.
  • Focus and Understanding: High achievers often focus on the end product, readily grasp the meaning, and understand ideas. Gifted workers tend to be focused more on the journey, draw additional inferences, and are more likely to construct abstractions. Thus, high achievers absorb information, while gifted workers are more likely to manipulate the information.
  • Mastery: High achievers often master abilities after six to eight repetitions, while gifted learners may master the same ability after one or two repetitions. High achievers are good at memorising, while gifted learners are insightful and easily make connections.
  • Authority and Rules: High achievers typically prefer to have an authority figure in charge and often love rules. Gifted workers have their own ideas of how things should be done, often thrive on complexity, and often want only basic guidelines.
  • Self-Image and Peer Group: High achievers are generally pleased with their progress and enjoy the company of their peers. Gifted workers are often self-critical and seek out their intellectual peers, often older children or adults.

What Do High Achievers Struggle With?

High achievers face unique challenges that can impact their well-being and mental health. They must recognise and address these struggles to maintain a healthy work-life balance and happiness. The problems they face includes:

  • Fear of losing everything: They often fear losing their hard-earned accomplishments, such as fancy job titles, social status, and recognition. This fear can be paralysing and lead to anxiety about the future. However, they must recognise that their self-worth is not solely tied to their achievements and develop strategies to cope with this fear.
  • Becoming their results: They associate their identities and self-worth with their achievements, constantly strive to prove themselves, and seek validation through their work. This mindset can lead to excessive work habits, burnout, and a constant need for positive feedback. Thus, they must find a balance between their achievements and their well-being.
  • Chasing external goals: They often pursue goals based on societal expectations and the desire to please others, leading to them constantly comparing themselves to others and seeking validation through external achievements. To deal with this, they must reflect on their values and priorities and set goals that align with their aspirations.
  • Fear of success: These individuals also have a fear of success. This is because they may feel pressure to maintain their success and worry about how others perceive their accomplishments. Hence leading to imposter syndrome and perfectionist tendencies. So, they should work on recognising and celebrating their successes while addressing their underlying fears and self-doubt.
  • Mental health challenges: Despite their external success, these individuals are not immune to mental health struggles. The pressure to constantly perform and meet high expectations can affect their well-being. Also, they may be hesitant to seek help due to the stigma surrounding mental health and a fear of appearing weak. However, they need to prioritise their mental health, seek support when needed, and challenge the notion that seeking help is a sign of failure.


The presence of a high achiever on a team can be quite useful because they tend to put in a lot of effort to ensure the team’s success. When it comes to both expertise and accountability, these particular individuals are among the very best. They have a high level of intrinsic motivation and are intent on achieving their goals with as little supervision as possible, which are very valuable team skills.


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